2014 Trucking Guide – Winter Truck Driving Tips

2014 Trucking Guide – Winter Truck Driving Tips

Truck drivers need to prepare accordingly for the winter driving period. Here are several winter driving tips that will not only make this time of the year more comfortable, but can also save lives. There are three core issues that are connected with operating a commercial motor vehicle in winter weather conditions: Limited traction, limited visibility, and personal safety. Limited traction: Friction is the number one element in being able to stop, move, or maneuver the vehicle. The amount of total friction area on an average 18-wheeled tractor trailer is 7.3 square feet. This is an area that is roughly 3.5 feet wide, and X 2 feet long, which is approximately half the size of of the top of a standard desk.

 

This is not much friction area to control or stop 80,000 pounds. Managing this small amount of traction is critical to safe driving in these types of conditions, such as winter. Truck Driving Tips Drivers should slow down. Drive smoothly, without any sudden starts or stops. Sliding wheels will always try to take the lead, and what leads to a lot of slick road jackknifes. They should keep their view far down the road, and avoid tunnel vision so they can predict traffic slowing down well in advance. Drivers must have extra following distance. Extra space always equals extra time to maneuver, and avoid other drivers and vehicles. Drivers should be especially careful when the temperatures are in the 32-39 degree range. Black ice can form without any warning, and the roads will only look wet. Bridges will be the first to turn into ice, since there is no land beneath them to insinuate them from the air temperature. Limited visibility comes in the form of poorly-cleaned cars and windows, blowing snow and ice, and passing vehicles that kick up snow and ice in front of the driver and his truck. There are also tips to address limited visibility: Drivers should clean their windshield, side windows, and mirrors before they leave and at every truck stop. It is impossible to drive safely if drivers cannot see. Trucks should also be pre-tripped, by carrying extra fluids, especially fluid for wipers. Drivers should also be certain that all belts and hoses are in good condition. They should not break down and leave the driver in the side of the road in the cold weather. Personal safety means staying warm and free from injury during harsh winter conditions. Some tips in the entire area include carrying a winter survival kit. The kit should contain a flashlight, extra batteries, non-perishable food and water, extra warm clothes and snow boots, extra blankets, a cellphone charger, a first-aid kit, and a snow broom or ice scraper. Drivers should watch their steps while entering or leaving the cab, or untreated parking lots and sidewalks. They should also dress for the weather by staying dry and wearing layers of clothes.

 

Cabs must be kept comfortable, but not too warm or cold so the driver can be alert while driving. Having the proper equipment and supplies can create a difference between life and death. If the driver finds himself stranded on the side of the road in -30 degree temperatures, then he will learn that even if the rig is running, very little heat will blow out. It is also important to carry extra blankets and energy food and water. The rig needs to be kept in good condition. And by taking extra precautions, difficult situations can be survived.

 

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